Parts of an Atom Hands on Activity

Rated 4.94 out of 5, based on 64 reviews
64 Ratings
Teaching Muse
Grade Levels
5th - 7th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Google Apps™
10 plus teacher instructions and link to the digital game
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Teaching about the atomic structure can be difficult for our students, so let them learn about the parts of an atom in a hands on way. Allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of protons, neutrons, and electrons through the use of tactile objects that you have in your classroom! This atoms lesson includes a hands on activity to teach the parts of an atom, a digital review game, and a coloring sheet.

Like this atomic structure lesson? Save 20% on the unit by clicking here.

Students will:

  • Demonstrate their ability to identify the parts of an atom (proton, neutron, electron, nucleus) and their charges.
  • Confirm their ability to arrange the electrons around the atom as indicated by Niels Bohr
  • Determine the atomic number and mass based on the information given to them about an atom.

This parts of an atom lesson includes:

  • Teacher instructions and tips
  • Student worksheets for two activities
    • Includes directions for students to build their atoms using supplies that you provide (food or creative classroom materials).
    • Illustration page for your students to show what they created.
    • Practice examples for students to demonstrate their ability to identify protons, neutrons, electrons, their charges, and the overall charge of an atom.
    • Challenge section: students will answer questions about atomic number and mass (This is on a separate page, quickly allowing you to set aside for fast finishers).
    • Homework section: students will write a paragraph describing the parts of an atom.
  • Digital Camping themed review game: Includes 22 questions to review and reinforce the parts of an atom, atomic number, atomic mass, and the overall charge of an atom.
  • Camping themed color by number page.
  • Answer key

How to use this lesson in your classroom:

  • Being observed? The hands on atoms activity is perfect for a classroom observation. This lesson allows you to bring the abstract topic of atoms into the world of our students through the use of hands on materials.
  • Sub plans: The digital game and coloring sheet are perfect for last minute sub plans.
  • Review and reinforcement for struggling learners
  • Homework assignment
  • Science station

Check out the feedback for this activity below:

  • Really cute materials for students to review the parts of an atom and their chargers. I thought it was especially appropriate for upper level elementary students who are studying chemistry but love the idea that you used it with 7th grade special education students. I bet they loved it!! And the best part? It's edible. Fun.
  • Edible science? Totally up my alley and will be soooo motivating for my class! Plus, the worksheets included will guarantee they are synthesizing the information. Thanks!
  • My students loved this activity because they got to eat everything at the end of the activity. I loved this activity because it got my students excited, and they did a great job!
  • LOVE! My students loved this. I used Sweeties as the neutrons, mini m&ms for the protons, and bigger M&Ms for electrons.

Other lessons and activities to support this unit:

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Total Pages
10 plus teacher instructions and link to the digital game
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.
Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures. Emphasis is on developing models of molecules that vary in complexity. Examples of simple molecules could include ammonia and methanol. Examples of extended structures could include sodium chloride or diamonds. Examples of molecular-level models could include drawings, 3D ball and stick structures, or computer representations showing different molecules with different types of atoms. Assessment does not include valence electrons and bonding energy, discussing the ionic nature of subunits of complex structures, or a complete depiction of all individual atoms in a complex molecule or extended structure.


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